Human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal

Authored by: Marta López-Fraga , Kristof Van Assche , Beatriz Domínguez-Gil , Francis L. Delmonico , Alexander M. Capron

Routledge Handbook of Human Trafficking

Print publication date:  September  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138892064
eBook ISBN: 9781315709352
Adobe ISBN:


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Organ transplantation is the best, and frequently the only, life-saving treatment for end-stage organ failure. In 2013, 117,733 solid organ transplants were performed worldwide, including 78,952 kidney and 25,029 liver transplant procedures. It is estimated that the number of organ transplants performed annually represents less than 10% of the global need. 1 This situation of acute organ shortage has led to the emergence of human trafficking for the purpose of organ removal (HTOR) and, more broadly, to the purchasing of organs from poor and vulnerable people. According to estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO), such practices account for between 5 and 10% of all transplants performed worldwide. 2

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